Job offersmore »

Tweeting Growers

Top 5 - yesterday

  • No news has been published yesterday.

Top 5 - last week

Top 5 - last month

Exchange ratesmore »

UK start-up introduces inflatable deep water culture system

A UK start-up has big plans to increase access to hydroponic foods with the introduction of a new affordable, inflatable, deep water hydroponic system. 

The Hydrosac is developed by Phytoponics, a startup founded by three youngsters with backgrounds in engineering, agriculture and horticulture. Founder Adam Dixon stressed out that the group has big plans with their inflatable system. "We hope to launch the first commercial system designed for vine crops mid 2018". 

According to Dixon, the system offers great potential for vine crop cultivation. Other than the standard production method of growing in substrate slabs or buckets with growing media and a gutter system for re-circulation, the Hydrosac offers a stand-alone solution. 

After rolling it out and inflating it, the system holds a body of water with an integrated aerator inside. On top, plant holes can hold a transplanting pot with the seedling. The system, which can go up to 50 meters in length, eliminates the use of auxiliary re-circulation gutters or drip irrigation. Phytoponics worked closely with the RPC bpi group for the development of the plastic film material. 

In the beginning of the crop stage, the aeration system allows for oxygenation and misting of the transplant roots. Further down the road, when roots are formed, the high flow nutrient system creates a deep water culture in the Hydrosac. The system allows for an eb and flow irrigation scheme, to irrigate the crop precisely and recirculate nutrients throughout the day, according to the needs of the crop. 

Dixon and his peers believe that the easy to install system will increase the availability of sustainable produced foods. They target a group of growers who want to start hydroponic vine crop greenhouse production, but who do not all have the knowledge and funds available to invest in expensive, complicated systems. "The Hydrosac is more affordable and easier to install than other commercial technology currently available on the market. We also believe that the deep water culture system also makes it easier to grow a productive crop because there it enables a certain consistency in the nutrient supply." 

Phytoponics has been trialing the system in their own R&D greenhouse, where they also develop their own nutrient delivery units and system. They are currently engineering and tweaking their system according to the feedback of commercial growers. They welcome more European greenhouse growers to trial their system, especially in the UK and Italy. 

The first commercial Hydrosac system is tailored for vine crop cultivation, but Phytonics plans to enroll the system for other crops like leafy vegetables too. They are just closing a new seed round and investors and other parties interested are welcome to join them. In the meanwhile, Adam Dixon is also running the UN's Young Champions of the Earth competition. Click here to vote for his idea!

For more information: 
Adam Dixon

Publication date: 8/24/2017
Author: Boy de Nijs



Other news in this sector:

6/22/2018 Italy: Di Meo Remo acquires new production areas
6/22/2018 US: Rainfall brings mixed outcomes for GA, MI bell pepper growers
6/22/2018 Hort Connections Gala Dinner celebrates Australian horticulture
6/22/2018 Italy: Tomato grower plans to light 6 hectares with LED
6/22/2018 Bundaberg strawberry farm looking for Asian workers only
6/22/2018 US (PA): LED improves production and plant quality in organic greenhouse
6/21/2018 UK: Peter Wills puts tomato nursery up for sale
6/21/2018 Proudly wear your produce on your sleeve
6/21/2018 Pure Flavor growing with new products, awards, and expansion
6/20/2018 "Combining Dutch/Swedish knowledge & experience to make it our own"
6/20/2018 Italy: 90 tons of basil plants produced using hydroponic techniques
6/19/2018 Leamington growers take home awards at annual greenhouse competition
6/18/2018 US (SC): Federal help to farm may be in jeopardy
6/18/2018 Kenyan growing local veggies in United Kingdom
6/14/2018 "Great market prospects for bunched small tomatoes in China"
6/14/2018 AmericanHort announces 2018 HortScholars
6/14/2018 US (NJ): A microgreens farm grows in Asbury Park
6/13/2018 US (MO): Students grow herbs and lettuce for peers
6/13/2018 The only spinach grower in Colorado
6/13/2018 How sensors make the world small for crop advisors